By Reed Farrel Coleman
Intro to the author: First, I didn’t realize that Robert Parker wasn’t the author of this book until about halfway through. (I had a really unobservant moment). I have never read a Parker book or a Coleman book before, so maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. Anyway, the main character is a Parker character that Coleman was allowed to write about.
Kind of a series, kind of not: It also took me awhile to realize that there are other, prior, Jesse Stone (the main character) books. I am guessing that each book has its own crime and there are some bits of drama that carry from book to book. The problem with this book is that so much of it delves into Jesse’s past that I don’t know if I am missing things from other books or if the information is new to this book.
I encourage all of my readers to give this book a read and tell me what you think. CLICK HERE to purchase on Amazon.
- I liked the short chapters, as it gave many stopping points. However, this may not have been the best plan in terms of making the book a continuous page turner, which it was not.
- If you like books that are 98% crime, this will be a great fit for you. There was not much happening that didn’t help either a criminal or a cop accomplish something.
- Great surprise ending with a true villain.
- The main character, Jesse Stone, has a lot of street smarts and kicks ass. His take down scenes with virtually anyone are fun to read.
- This was not a page turner for me. I found the plot to be repetitive: criminals committing crimes. Criminals hiring out worse crimes to even dirtier criminals.
- This being said, at the start of the book all of the characters were a bit confusing. There were just too many goons to keep up with them all.
- Now, if this is a series where I would have been introduced to some of these guys earlier, then maybe I would not have been so overwhelmed. Until I find another Jesse Stone novel, I won’t know.
- I do not feel like I got background to know what happened earlier in the series. This could be a pro for some, but a con for me.
- I don’t feel like Coleman has a good knack for writing cliff hangers. The best cliff hanger of the whole book was at the end of the book as a lead in for his next novel. There is nothing wrong with this, but if you are going to leave the reader in that much suspense at the end, at least make sure the reader is on their toes through much of the book.
- Too long. The plot just didn’t move fast enough for me. Maybe if some fat was trimmed, I would have enjoyed it more.
Audience: I feel like this is best classified as a crime novel. I really enjoy mystery, suspense and thriller. The problem with this book is you also got chapters of the criminals committing the crimes, which takes a lot of mystery out of it. That being said, there is a nice surprise ending.
- What-if’s of the past
Everyone has moments in their lives that changed everything. Everyone looks back and ways “what-if”. Well this book has a major theme regarding the main character and what “could have been” with his baseball career.
I normally like themes, but this one was just flat out depressing. Not all themes are fun and happy, but this one was just too much. It could have been how the book was written, or maybe it could have been the past was just brought up too much and too frequently. Either way, there were several moments when I wanted to tell the main character to stop whining.
- Not all criminals are created equally
This theme was only really developed at the end of the novel, which is a real shame. The biggest villain at the beginning turns out to actually have a soul (somewhat) whereas the true villain introduced at the end shows no mercy to anyone. Unfortunately, this purely evil dude is only going to play a major role in the next book.
Escapism factor: 4 – There were many moments when I wanted to put this book down. Writing a review was my main motivation for finishing it, although the end was quite good. I gave the book a 4 because if someone is more into crime novels, they may find it more consuming.
Conclusion: This book’s saving grace was the ending, which is why it gets two stars instead of 1. Yes the occasional fight scene was cool, but the negatives outweighed those for me. Too much whining about “what could have been” with the main character’s baseball career, too many goons to keep track of, not a page turner, didn’t keep me interested, and wanting to quit reading the book led to my two star review.
If you really like crime novels and/or just want to give this book a try CLICK HERE to purchase on Amazon.